Saudis are being encouraged to dob in their Qatar-sympathizing countrymen via a Twitter hashtag.
An advisor to the royal court, Saud al-Qahtani, tweeted on Friday to request that Saudis “put any names you think should be added to #TheBlacklist on the hashtag”.
Al-Qahtani added that those included on the “blacklist” would “be followed from now”.
On June 5 Saudi Arabia, along with allies the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and imposed a land, air and sea embargo, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism.
Closing down Al Jazeera was one of a list of 13 demands handed to Qatar by the blockading states.
Meanwhile, others expressed support for the “black list”.
The Saudi minister was soon backed-up by the Bahraini and Emirati foreign ministers.
Anwar Gargash, the UAE’s state minister for foreign affairs, tweeted that “brother Saud al-Qahtani is an important voice in the Qatar crisis... and his tweet about the ‘blacklist’ is extremely important.”
The Emirates had already introduced a 15-year prison sentence and $13,500 fine for anyone expressing sympathy with Qatar. Emirati Ghanem Abdullah Mattar was arrested in July for a video allegedly sympathizing with his Qatari neighbors.
One Qatari, @Hamdatov, suggested that al-Qahtani “and his crew” add themselves to the list, while @mohdalsuwaidi7 requested to be added himself, suggesting the list “looks like great company”.
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This is not the first time al-Qahtani has further stirred Gulf tensions with his online activity. Last week, Qataris launched the hashtag “Saudi minister threatens to invade Qatar” in response to a series of inflammatory Tweets by al-Qahtani
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